Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise Expands Portfolio Of Missing Middle Housing

Monday, September 12, 2016

Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE), with support from the Lyndhurst and Benwood Foundations, has engaged the Incremental Development Alliance to help design “Missing Middle” housing, multi-family housing with the look and feel of single-family homes, for Chattanooga’s neighborhoods.

Missing Middle housing types include duplexes, fourplexes, bungalow courts, and live-work units, among others. This project will explore pathways to creating Missing Middle Housing in Chattanooga.

“We believe the proliferation of these building types are an affordable strategy to increase neighborhood walkability, diversify neighborhood building types, provide more affordable and mixed-income housing, grow and diversify our community of multi-family builders, and provide CNE with an expanded toolkit for neighborhood redevelopment that includes a small portfolio of multi-family plans that we can use with our partners,” said Martina Guilfoil, president and CEO of CNE.

Together, CNE and IncDevA are conducting a series of development implementation charrettes, capacity-building trainings and educational lectures to create a fully vetted package of information specific to the Chattanooga region that would prototype up to three to four building types.

An on-site charrette took place at the beginning of August and consisted of three days of intensive drawing exercises and meeting with local experts to vet specific components of the building type package. CNE organized local general contractors, specific trade contractors, real estate agents/brokers, property managers, city planning staff, fire marshals, building code officials, architects, community bankers and key neighborhood stakeholders to take part in the refinement of the building type deliverables.

CNE invites the public to attend a lecture from Dan Parolek, a nationally recognized thought leader in architecture, design, and urban planning and creator of the “Missing Middle Housing” concept, on Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 6-8 p.m. at green|spaces Chattanooga, at 63 E. Main Street.

The team will then return to Chattanooga to conduct a Developer Bootcamp in October to help train local developers, contractors, real estate agents, investors and other key neighborhood stakeholders in building and developing this type of housing.

“Chattanooga is primed for the evolution of its neighborhood fabric through small residential and mixed use buildings. However, many regulatory, financial and procedural barriers are restraining the marketplace from seeing a clear path forward into designing, constructing and managing building types inhabiting this Missing Middle strata between a single family house and mid-rise 3-6 story buildings,” said Bob McNutt, real estate development manager at CNE.

The buildings will be of local architectural character and take into consideration appropriate climate and energy-related elements. This approach will set the stage for future development of prototypes into fully executed buildings where first-time versus operating costs can be weighed based on end use and property management strategies by the owner. For the purposes of this project, there will be an emphasis on residential buildings, with mixed-use options included where appropriate to allow for the greatest range of potential types that would fit from neighborhood center to edge. The project will pull from the vast experience and design plan archive of the team members to pair historic precedent with floor plans that meet modern building code requirements. The buildings must each work in a range of urban contexts, cost equal or less to conventional housing types and be flexible and adaptable to changing conditions over time.

For more information on Missing Middle housing types, visit For more information on the Missing Middle lecture, visit

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